COVID and Singapore – how is it?

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Milena wearing a mask as COVID measure in front of the Central Business District of Singapore
Masks are mandatory in Singapore.

Keywords such as “new infections”, “measures” or “new maximum value” are daily trends on German Twitter, masks are mandatory in schools now and people protest against the LoSs Of OuR fReEdOm. Germany is now in lockdown light and my family is not sure how or if they will celebrate Christmas together.

And me? I can live a chill and quite normal life here in Singapore. What does this look like?

Wear your mask!

Masks are mandatory everywhere, outside as well as inside, except when eating, drinking and doing sports. If you are only 20 minutes without a mask, you can for sure expect a 300 dollar penalty, if you repeat it the penalty increases.

Why for sure? We were told that people in Singapore like to film offences and report them to the police. In addition, many places are under video surveillance. Thanks to apparently surprisingly good facial recognition, we can probably be identified in a very short time.

The mandatory mask-wearing also applies in the boarding house – until 7 pm everywhere, after that only on the first to fourth floor. Not because COVID doesn’t exist after 7 pm but because the boarding house is a mixture of private household (no mandatory masks) and public institution (mandatory masks), since we have people who work but don’t live in the boarding house, such as the security guards or assisting house parents. From 7 pm they usually are no longer on the floors where we live (5th and upwards), which makes this strange sounding regulation possible.

In general, mandatory mask-wearing is not critizised, people simply stick to it. Either because of the authority of the government or simply out of consideration for the others.

Personally, I have become completely used to the mask, the thing which sometimes is annoying is the combination with the humid heat of Singapore when we are out for a longer time. Besides, I sometimes find it hard regarding the language. My English is not really good yet and I sometimes have problems understanding the others, as the masks cover the mouth section and also blur the sound.

If this is not a perfect training for listening comprehension!

Temperature check!

In the boarding house we have temperature checks in the mornings and in the evenings and in the school also twice a day. We are also being tested for fever at most shops in the city. Thanks to infrared measurement, this is an action of ten seconds.

SafeEntry

This is the name of a contact tracing method. At all buildings and shops there is a QR code to scan before we enter. We then have to register with the passport number and mobile phone number. This enables Singapore to track who was when and how long in a certain area.

Data protection? No idea! The German Corona Warn App is better by lengths, also from handling. When I go shopping and have to register in the mall in every single store, it becomes annoying.

Group size maximum five

Groups in public spaces may comprise a maximum of five persons. Again, people in Singapore are filming offences if there is no police nearby.

And that’s it! Freedom?

My freedom is actually more restricted here than back home in Bavaria, where the maximum group size includes ten people, I do not have to register everywhere with a mobile phone app and the mask requirement applies especially in closed rooms.

However, Germany now has the lockdown light and I can enjoy an almost normal life in Singapore. Do you notice anything?

Lovely,

Milena

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